Our Viva!

Alum Creek State Park • Delaware, OH • AUG 1 - 2, 2015

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DAYS 66 and 67

We always post only one photo for each blog entry, and then link to the remaining photos for that trip. When dear friends drop by, over the course of two days, and multiple photos of them are taken, how could we choose only one photo? Who to leave in, who to leave out? Couldn’t make such a decision, so “Tybee Behind The Wheel” is the solo photo for the blog page. Photos of our good friends can be found at the link below this page.

On the way to Alum Creek State Park we stopped by Sharon Woods Metro Park. Rick ran thousands of miles there while training for marathons. Whenever he returns to Columbus he always tries to run four miles there. When Linda was training for her marathon (the Honolulu Marathon—she’s no dummy!), she put in a lot of miles at Sharon Woods, plus she has always loved to go there just to walk as well. So we took the opportunity to each take a lap. Rick went first and ran an easy 34:28 while Linda stayed with the dogs. Linda then went for a walk, but the marathon memories came back and she actually ran part of the way. We both loved it.

We then went to Alum Creek State Park for our first ever stay there. We got a surprise (and if you’re a dedicated reader of this blog you have noted that we get surprised with some regularity) when we found that our campsite had electric but no water hookup (or sewer, but we knew that in advance). We had never camped without city water hookup, but we had no choice as that is the norm here. Our onboard water tank was nearly empty, so we had to go fill up and then come back to our site to hook up…just the electric.

Our site was great—nestled in the woods, with a picnic table and fire ring. The restrooms were across the drive, which was handy as we were expecting quite a few visitors. And visitors soon started dropping by.

Our long-time, and very close friends Bob and Marsha, Diane, Judy, and Betsy were the first guests of the weekend to arrive. We worked with Marsha, Diane, Judy and Betsy at our “main job,” and we also worked with Marsha, Diane and Judy at a second job making paper chef hats for a few years. Those were good times!

Mark and Jan joined us a short time later. They are also long-time and treasured friends. Mark and Rick (under the pseudonym Nicholas Sarazen) coauthored the suspense novel “Family Reunion,” which was published in 1990 and did quite well. It’s been out of print for years, but is now available as an e-book (end of shameless plug). Both Mark and Jan are huge Buckeye fans, and Jan’s dad was a great football coach and is in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Our friends were so thoughtful to bring us vegan dishes and vegan snacks and dessert. Everything tasted great. We sat around the campfire and laughed and talked and reminisced for hours. It was a wonderful, magic evening, and it reminded us that no matter how much we love living in Florida and now traveling the country, we still have good friends in Ohio that we wish we could see much more often. After violating the campground’s quiet time by close to an hour (it was Saturday night and all of our neighbors were still out and having a good time, too), we had to say goodbye.

Our first visitors the next day were Jim and Karen. Jim was Rick’s Team In Training (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) coach for many years, and was directly responsible for Rick achieving his goal of qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon. Jim was also Linda’s coach when she ran the Honolulu Marathon. We love Karen, too, and together they are so much fun.

Jim and Laura, two more long-time and wonderful friends, arrived next. They have to be the world’s greatest Bruce Springsteen fans—they have seen him countless times all over the country. And although Bruce is The Man to them, they have seen so many of the top artists since they were teenagers and started going to concerts. We worked with them for many years, have socialized with them, and they even visited us in Florida.

Erik and Judy joined us. Again, good friends we have known forever. We worked with Erik and watched him rise to the top of the agency. He’s just a great guy, and we love Judy, too.

Well, let’s add two more to the mix. Our good friend and former coworker Cyndy surprised us with a visit. She is one of the sweetest, kind-hearted people we know. She worked directly with Rick for several years, and also got together with Linda and other friends outside of work.

Tony was the last to arrive. He and Rick go all the way back to Hinkles Donuts. They have had many adventures together (some of which also involved Mark), and without going into details (although the stories were told to the gathering this weekend), they are actually somewhat lucky to have survived several of those adventures.

After weeks of rain and nasty weather, Central Ohio delivered two perfect days, and those days happened to be when we were camping here. We are so thankful, because that enabled us to reconnect with people who have been and always will be a special part of us.

Our great adventure is winding down. Tomorrow it’s off to Mount Vernon to visit with Linda’s sister and her husband. After spending the night in the Viva there, it’s southbound and down.

Click for ALL of this trip’s PHOTOS (10 total)
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